Don’t stress! Refuel with food!

Don’t stress! Refuel with food!


You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times; 80% diet, 20% workout, abs are made in the kitchen, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, etc. Bottom line, food matters, and post workout, food matters even more. In this short article I will give you 3 options for your post workout refuel routine. First option, is the traditional option, post workout shake, with 2-1 ratio of a carb or carb substitute. Second option is a meal following training again 2-1 carbs to protein. And the last option is the bases covered option, slam a shake, 2-3 hours later a meal, 2-3 hours later another meal, until bed time. Whatever you chose, don’t stress, missing a meal won’t kill you, and probably won’t affect your gains if it’s a one off. So be prepared, plan ahead and remember to refuel with food!


So every magazine and Instagram guru will tell you to get a shake in within 5 minutes of finishing your workout, or all that hard work goes down the drain. This is probably farthest from the truth. Although it is important to eat in the hours after training, as long as you eat a meal with a serving of protein within a few hours, you sh ould be ok. Saying that if you are going to opt for a shake post workout, I’d suggest pairing it with fruit, rice cakes, a carb substitute, or some other carb in a 2-1 ration carbs to protein, ie. 30g protein from whey with 60g carb from fruits. If you’ve just finished your workout, the uptake of glucose is independent from insulin meaning, we aren’t trying to spike insulin like your bros will tell you, we are just trying to replace glycogen lost during training as this seems to be a main driver of muscle growth( or anabolism). Carbs will also pull water into the muscle and other nutrients required for repair. So take a shake and a source of carbs post workout, then wait 3-4 hours and eat a meal. If you’re going home to eat dinner you probably don’t need a shake, and it may even take you over your calories, if you’re having a shake just for the sake of having one and then eating right away. You’re not gonna lose your gains if you wait a little while.


So if you forgo the shake and head home to eat a meal, make sure that meal has at least 20g of protein from highly bioavailable sources like whey, meat and dairy. If you’re having a vegan or vegetarian dish, make sure to include complimentary proteins like beans and rice to cover your bases in terms of hitting those essential amino acids needed for muscle building(ie. Leucine,BCAAs). Like I mentioned with your shake, carbs are important for growth and anabolism so pair you protein serving with some mixed sources of carbs, maybe a potato and some green veggies, you need to get in some fibre, but some simple carbs won’t hurt either after your workout. Variety is key, so add lots of colour with your veggies, get those vitamins and minerals in you. I reach for pork tenderloin(leucine rich) and white rice with mixed vegetables for my meals post workout. Farther from my workouts I might replace the rice with something higher in fibre like brown/wild rice or sweet potatoes. Ultimately eat the foods you enjoy that meet your needs, they need to be something you’ll stick with over the long haul.
Like is said in my intro the third option is to combine the two(bases covers approach) bring a shake, you never know what distractions might prevent you from getting home, drink it if you need to or wait til you get home. Remember you’re the sum of your most consistent actions, so plan ahead, meet your macros and your energy needs, and don’t sweat if you miss one meal. Just plan better next time, cheers.

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